Arne Heilo MD
Recently updated 26.03.2012
Oslo University Hospital
- The procedure is carried out aseptically and takes approximately 30 minutes.
- The patient lies in the supine position with the upper body raised, either in bed or on an examination table. The sitting position is also an alternative.
- The skin is cleaned with chlorhexidine 5 mg/ml.
- The puncture is made where there is optimal access to the fluid.
- Xylocain 1% is used for local anesthesia without adrenaline.
- Local anesthesia is injected in all tissue layers of the thoracic wall, especially the parietal pleura.
- The position of the needle is shown by ultrasound.
- A small incision is made in the skin and a Secalon or pigtail catheter is inserted into the pleural space. A three-way tap with bag is connected.
- The fluid can either be tapped passively or aspirated with a syringe from the tapping set.
- When the tap is concluded, the catheter is removed unless otherwise specified.
- The puncture point is bandaged.
- The pleural fluid is sent in a sterile container for bacterial examination and possibly biochemical or immunological examination.
Complications which can occur:
- Sowing of malignant cells or microbes in the puncture canal (delayed complication)
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